Thursday, November 5, 2009

Traditional knowledge

The Inupiat culture is enriched with an extreme amount of indigenous knowledge that has existed for thousands and thousands of years. This traditional knowledge, I believe, is unique, carefully selected, and has advanced awareness of the natural world. Random is the least of which I would describe it. My understanding of traditional knowledge is based upon opinions concluded by respected hunters, elders, and members, such as Paul Ongtooguk, of the Inupiat Society itself. 
The Inupiat knowledge is filled with insights of weather conditions, the animals being hunted for, locations to hunt, and which tools to use in the different situations. "The Inupiat society was, and is, about knowing the right time to be in the right place, with the right tools, to take advantage of a temporary abundance of resources. Such a cycle of life was, and is, dependent upon a people's careful observations of the environment and their dynamic response to changes and circumstances, " as said by Paul Ongtooguk. Careful observations are deeply rooted into traditional knowledge. Observation is needed with hunting, preparing the food that has been caught, making materials and tools, and learning the right way to live defined by Inupiat values. Inupiat values are traditionally taught through stories, songs, and dances; they can also be taught through apprenticeship. (Ongtooguk)
This knowledge is very profound and nobody describes it better than Paul Ongtoouk; "It seems obvious that any culture that has survived over thousands of years must have had a successful system of education."

Ongtooguk, P. Aspects of Traditional Inupiat Education. Retrieved November 17, 2009 from  

Unique, rich, and very beautiful

First of all, none of which I blog will be a 100% correct. I am simply just a college student of UAA trying to learn as much as I can about the Inupiat culture. I would hate to label my time blogging as completing a "research project" because those words sound very monotonous to me; but let's face it, researching is a part of everyday life. The reason I am interested in the Inupiat culture is because I am Inupiaq myself. I don't know as much about my culture as I should. Each time I learn something new about my culture, it feels like I am finding a missing puzzle piece that defines who I am. I have to warn you now, I am very random. You can't help what you want to learn, even if that means going in various directions. I will say or lean towards absolutely anything that can help me learn and understand the Inupiat culture in ways that I would have never imagined. If there's one thing I do know, it's that something such as the Inupiat culture can be looked at through different perspectives and thought of in many concepts. It is unique, rich, and very beautiful. It's amazing how we are capable of thinking things in such a flexible and complex way. I hope to learn a lot about the Inupiat culture, even if that does mean doing some research. I've actually just recently learned that researching isn't too bad; maybe it's just the word itself that bores me so much. They really should replace it with something else, something else like "google."